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Liverpool Chef wins chef of the year in London awards

This year’s British Kebab Awards saw a Liverpool chef win Chef of the Year. Turkish Masterchef Kemal Coskuncay has been recognised as the best kebab chef in the country after a prestigious awards ceremony in Westminster, London, that was attended by a host of MPs, celebrities, and industry leaders.

The award is a testament to Masterchef Kemal’s hard work during his career, during which he has risen through the ranks in Turkey’s resort restaurants and progressed to become a highly respected chef in the UK. From dishwasher to working at some of the UK’s top restaurants, Masterchef Kemal has worked extremely hard for his latest honour.

Turkish Masterchef Kemal Coskuncay is based in South Liverpool and is the owner of Private Delicacies, a private dining and consultation company. Masterchef Kemal works with some of Liverpool’s top restaurants, including Al Dente on Lark Lane, a restaurant that has consistently been in the Top 10 restaurants in Liverpool on Trip Advisor.

A lifelong Liverpool fan, Masterchef Kemal moved to the city in February 2020 following much success in London, working at multi award winning restaurants such as Marrakesh in Leicester Square and winning a ‘Best Foreign Chef In London’ award. A member of the International Gastronomy Federation, his career has been as colourful as his dishes.

Masterchef Kemal has also manages Al Dente beach restaurant in Didim, a multi-award winning restaurant in Altinkum, Turkey, that has won Best Organic Turkish Food and Best Resort Restaurant awards. Now settled in Liverpool with his wife and three children where he spends most of his time, Kemal has set the city alight with his culinary prowess.

Kemal said: 

“It is a real honour to win this prestigious award. I have been working very hard throughout my career and take great pride in what I do. I started out as a dishwasher and kitchen porter in Bodrum but learnt from the chefs, worked my way up and to now win Chef Of The Year in front of a host of top people and organisations is amazing!”

He continued: 

“I am what is called a New Generation chef and I blend traditional Turkish methods and recipes with my own modern twists. Whether it be kebabs, tomahawk steaks or seafood dishes, I use only the finest ingredients. I am very passionate both as a chef and restaurant consultant and it feels so great to win this prestigious award I honestly did not expect to win.”

The British Kebab Awards is now in its 11th year and attracts a host of celebrities, prominent politicians, journalists and most importantly the nation’s hard-working restaurant workers for an evening of celebration. The kebab industry is worth over £2.2 billion to the UK economy and the awards are sponsored by Just Eat.

The 2023 awards featured judges such as LBC Broadcaster James O’Brien, Directors of companies such as Oktopus Energy and Makro/Booker and a host of celebrities and MPs. Backed by the likes of Sajid Javid, the British Kebab Awards has become one of the most respected awards in UK hospitality, with kebabs having undergone a transformation in public perception.

The news will be welcomed by Liverpool diners as Masterchef Kemal Coskuncay has become very much loved by the city’s foodies. Masterchef Kemal has endeared himself to Scousers both for his personality and culinary creations but also for his outreach work — delivering hundreds of meals to local vulnerable people and teaching children how to cook at The Florrie.

Kemal explained: 

“I love Liverpool and I have always wanted to live here. I am a big Liverpool F.C fan, as are my children, so serving food for Liverpool football players has been like a dream. I love the people here — they are friendly and really appreciate great food and service. I’m so happy to win this award but to be recognised by Scousers is even more special to me.”

He continued: 

“I couldn’t have done this without the support of all my customers and friends, the restaurants I work with and everyone who voted for me. Special thanks to Al Dente in Liverpool and Al Dente in Didim, Sham Jagota, Ibrahim Coskuncay, Emrah Aslan, Justin Hopper from La Vida Liverpool and all my friend and family.”

Speaking of the future, Kemal summarised: 

“This award is a real milestone in my career and I have some big plans for 2023. I will continue my consultation work with Private Delicacies and to work with top restaurants such as Al Dente but I also have some big plans of my own in Liverpool — all will be revealed soon!”

Masterchef Kemal Coskuncay has won Chef Of The Year at the 11th annual British Kebab Awards, hosted at Westminster Bridge Ballroom on 28th February 2023. Masterchef Kemal offers private dining events through his company, Private Delicacies, and is chef and consultant for some of Liverpool’s best restaurants such as Al Dente on Lark Lane.

You can enquire about Masterchef Kemal’s private dining and events here.

READ MORE: Brand-new concept Turkish restaurant Akasya opens on Bold Street

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